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First Posted: Apr 1, 2012
Jul 25, 2017

Chile, Argentina and Brazil Trip

by Debora Johnson

Let's shed some light on this trip!


Galleries: Chile, Argentina and Rio/A Smattering of Random Pictures
Galleries:Argentina, Buenos Aires/Estancia Santa Susana/Gauchos
Argentina - The Teatro Colón Opera House in Buenos Aires
Galleries: Argentine Vineyard and an article on Argentine Wine
Galleries: Argentina and Brazil/Iguazu Falls Views
Galleries: Bird Sanctuary, Butterflies, Reptiles and Plants
Galleries: The Patel Family - A joy!

The following was our basic itinerary from Smartours Travel:

Day 1: Depart USA. We flew from Washington, DC Reagan National Airport to Miami and then on to Santiago, Chile.

Day 2: Arrived Santiago, Chile . The bustling capital of Chile, located between the Pacific Ocean and the majestic Andes. On arrival, ride up to the top of San Cristóbal Hill for a bird's eye view of the city and the Andean mountain range. Later, learned more about Santiago's charms and history from a local expert that leads you on a tour of the Plaza de Armas , the city's main square and the nearby Cathedral. Saw the Presidential Palace and the Bohemian section of Bellavista . Stayed at the Atton El Bosque Hotel

Collage Wikipedia Commons  
Santiago de Chile. Clockwise: nueva las condes, Santiago's Financial Center; A Santiago Metro train, La Moneda--Presidential Palace, Virgin Mary statue in San Cristóbal Hill, Museum of Fine Arts----The image on the right is another view of Virgin Mary statue in San Cristóbal Hill

Day 3: Discovered the enchanting towns of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso on the Pacific Coast as well as Chile's thriving wine making industry.

Argentine Vineyard

Collage Wikipedia Commons
Valparaíso. Port of Valparaíso, cerro Artillería house, Carampangue Street, Monument to the Heroes of Iquique, Funicular Baron, "Edificio de la Aduana" and a Trolley, Logo of Valparaíso, Sotomayor Square Building, Paseo Atkinson.

Day 4: Santiago/Puerto Montt /Puerto Varas . Today boarded a short flight to the southern port city of Puerto Montt, gateway to the Chilean Lake District. Upon arrival, drive along the shores of placid Lake Llanquihue to the nearby village of Puerto Varas. Lake Llanquihue is the second largest lake in Chile with an area of about 860 square kilometres (330 sq mi). It is situated in the southern Los Lagos Region in the Llanquihue and Osorno provinces. The lake's fan-like form was created by successive piedmont glaciers during the Quaternary glaciations. The last glacial period is called Llanquihue glaciation in Chile after the terminal moraine systems around the lake. Lake Llanquihue is located in southern Chile a territory of northern Patagonia in the Los Lagos Region. The lakes spectacular views of Volcán Osorno make the surrounding cities such as Puerto Varas tourism hotspots.

Volcanic Ash and Rock

Stopped at the Handicraft Market. Stayed at the Solace Hotel

Image Wikipedia Commons
German influence is visible in southern Chile: Puerto Varas Church

Day 5: Lake Region/Bariloche (Argentina). Traversed the Andean Mountains through the Lake District from Chile to Argentina. Enjoyed dramatic landscapes, spectacular emerald green lakes, gushing waterfalls, snow-capped volcanoes and dense forests. The breathtaking scenery unfolded as we journeyed along winding roads overlooking the magical lakes of Chile's Puyehue National Park into Argentina's equally amazing Nahuel Huapi National Park. Arrived in quaint Villa Angostura and embarked on a boat ride to view the striking Arrayanes Forest with its rare and ancient Myrtle trees. Proceeded on our journey along the magical lake towards the picture-perfect town of Bariloche. Stayed in the Edelweiss Hotel.

See this entire program

Day 6: Set in idyllic scenery reminiscent of the Swiss Alps, Bariloche is a splendid lake-side town. An included walking tour featured a visit to the engaging Patagonia Museum which we did not do because we were horse-back-riding on our own. Later that afternoon Bill and I walked all over Bariloche and bought some lovely jewelry for presents. We enjoyed exploring together. We found a lovely pair of cuff links and continued looking for a necklace that was different and distinctive. The lapis lazuli is found in only two countries: Argentina and Afghanistan. Also, chocolate everywhere! We restrained ourselves.

Day 7: Bariloche/Buenos Aires. Flew to Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital, often called "Paris of the South". The city is a great mix of European heritage and Latin spirit, evident in architecture, culture and lifestyle. Drove through the Avenida 9 de Julio, the world's widest avenue, to our hotel, Americas Towers Hotel.

Day 8: On this morning's guided tour saw the Plaza de Mayor, the famous Opera House and the historic La Boca district. Proceeded to the elegant Recoleta district and the cemetery where Evita Peron is buried. Afternoon at leisure. Had a group dinner and tango show, South America's passionate dance.

Day 9: Traveled outside the city on a full day excursion to the Argentine Pampas. Visited an estancia (ranch) and enjoyed a sumptuous barbecue lunch followed by a Gaucho Fiesta, complete with gaucho riding and folklore show. We also rode the horses and took a horse-drawn carriage ride. Good fun!

Gallery: Buenos Aires, Argentina/Estancia Santa Susana/Gouchos

Pictures of the ranch outside and inside--fun and festivities!

Day 10: A full day at leisure. Bill and I took a "behind the scenes" tour of the ornate Colon Opera House. The opera house is exquisite. We thought is was even more beautiful than the opera house in Vienna. We walked and walked all over the city. There is so much to see.

The Teatro Colón Opera House in Buenos Aires

Day 11: Buenos Aires/Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil ). After breakfast boarded a short flight to the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls. We discovered why this is considered one of the greatest natural wonders of the world! Set at the border of Argentina and Brazil, the falls consist of 275 inlets and cataracts that send their cascades roaring 250 feet below. We enjoyed a ride on the ecological train through the rain forest to Devil's Throat for a spectacular close-up view of the Argentinean side of the falls. Stayed in the Mabu Resort .

Galleries: Iguazu Falls/Argentina and Brazil Views

Day 12: Today viewed the dramatic Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls and lush sub-tropical vegetation on an included morning tour. We also enjoyed the Bird Sanctuary which is only a short cab ride away. It was well worth the afternoon and recommend that you enjoy it, too. Galleries: Bird Sanctuary, Butterflies, Reptiles and Plants Bill and I took a swim in the pools and enjoyed the hot tub. We were tired so relaxed the rest of the day and had a lovely dinner together.

Iguazu/Rio De Janeiro

Day 13: Iguazu/Rio De Janeiro. Morning flight to Rio de Janeiro, often described as one of the world's most beautiful cities. Sprawling between lush tropical mountains and the exquisite beaches of the Atlantic, Rio's natural beauty and the warmth of its people will win your heart. This afternoon ascended imposing Sugar Loaf Mountain by cable car to the 1300-foot summit for stunning views of the city and surroundings. Later drive along white-sanded beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and arrived at our hotel, Sheraton Hotel & Towers.

Day 14: On this morning's tour, a cog railway took us through the rain forest up Corcovado Mountain , a 2300-foot peak crowned by the landmark statue of Christ the Redeemer . ("...A statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world. It is 39.6 metres (130 ft) tall, including its 9.5 metres (31 ft) pedestal, and 30 metres (98 ft) wide. It weighs 635 tonnes (625 long,700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. A symbol of Brazilian Christianity, the statue has become an icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1922 and 1931.") The views from the top of the mountain are dazzling! The morning had low clouds but we could see intermittently.

Christ the Redeemer: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Later, discovered Rio's Portuguese colonial history in the downtown area and visited the largest Cathedral in South America. Farewell dinner with group. Bill and I had a wonderful time with the Patel Family. They were so much fun and full of life. We enjoyed them the entire trip and hope to travel with them again.

Day 15: Departed Rio. Spent the morning in Ipanema. Bill and I had lunch and enjoyed a juice bar. Later transferred to the airport for our return overnight flight to Miami and then on to DC.

Day 16: Arrived home today. Long trip! Tired--going to sleep for several days then rejoin the human race.

For More Information:

Argentinean Gauchos (Cowboys)
The Teatro Colón Opera House in Buenos Aires
Argentine Wine

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